What follows is not a battle report as such, more a collection of thoughts and impressions of this superb new edition:
My first game of 8th certainly did not disappoint. Everything that I had either read or listened to on various podcasts (such as the elegant simplicity of the ruleset) came to light in this game. I was also pleased that my opponent, James, was happy to play with Power Level instead of points, a concept that in my local gaming scene many players seem perhaps a little suspicious of…
As it happened, this turned out to be an extremely tense and hard fought battle. Most exciting of all was that the behaviour of our units was no longer resigned to the imagination or the pages of Black Library; the Astartes fought heroically, whilst the savage and relentless tide of Orks reminded me of passages from Aaron Dembski Bowden’s immortal Helsreach.
Oh and good grief! Finally, STUFF WORKS! The apothecary is no longer resigned to dishing out an abstract ‘Feel No Pain’ to his unit, but is actively getting marines back on their feet to continue the fight! The techmarine, planted between my two advancing dreadnoughts, regained a cumulative 9 Wounds on his venerable pals over the course of the game (this did not prevent the titanic explosions of both as the battle reached its climax.) My favourite was the Company Ancient, who raised the banner high, inspiring mortally wounded marines to make one last defiant stand before succumbing to their wounds. Just. Awesome.
Oh, and my Captain, who cleaved the warboss in twain with his relic blade. I didn’t think captains could do that…
All of these guys are normal HQ’s, but through their actions they contributed to a truly compelling and cinematic narrative that complimented the gameplay.
James was an excellent opponent and was really good at explaining various elements of the ruleset as I got my head around it. Fortunately, power armour is relatively forgiving and soaked up a few of my mistakes!
Frankly, I was concentrating on the new rules and having too much of a good time to take a comprehensive record of events! Both sides cut one another to ribbons, but ultimately the Orks took the day, despite the loss of their Warboss. I suppose they’re never too sentimental about that sort of thing.
James realised that he had forgotten to bring on his three buggies at the close of Turn 5. I felt bad for him for about ten seconds, until I remembered that I too had forgotten to bring on my Landspeeder from reserves! Dammit, that heavy flamer could have come in handy…
My thanks again to James for being such a fun opponent – it was a pleasure to play against such a beautifully painted Ork army. Thank you also to Jim at Bristol Independent Gaming for creating such an amazing space for gaming.
Thanks for reading.